Call: 3rd Joint UAE Symposium on Social Robotics (JSSR2018)

Invitation and International Call for Presentations
4-7 February 2018
New York University Abu Dhabi
United Arab Emirates University


Submission deadline: December 30, 2018


A future in which robots will be our social companions and will assist us in many of our activities is quickly approaching. To get ready for tomorrow, a new kind of integrated research is gaining unprecedented traction: the study of interactions between humans inspires the development of more sophisticated autonomous agents, scaffolding the creation of the next generation of social robots. At the same time, the study of interactions between intelligent social machines and people provides insights into human social cognition and can inform and validate the explanatory and predictive models advanced by the social sciences.


Social robotics connects these two trends, bringing together expertise from different scientific and technological areas such as human-robot interaction, software engineering, artificial intelligence, social and cognitive psychology, the behavioral and brain sciences, social cognition theory, cognitive philosophy and philosophical psychology. Various approaches to cognitive robotics, including developmental, evolutionary, embodied/situated, and “soft” robotics build on the results achieved in these areas.


The United Arab Emirates is quickly emerging as an international hub for innovation. As such, it is committed to foster the progress in robotics, to assess its impact on the life of the people, and to support civil projects that can bring the greatest benefits to society. United Arab Emirates University (UAEU) and New York University Abu Dhabi (NYUAD) have joined forces in organizing the “3rd Joint UAE Symposium on Social Robotics” (JSSR2018) as part of “Innovation Month 2018”. This event features a multidisciplinary program that brings together renowned developers, roboticists, and social scientists from across the globe to discuss the state of the art in social robotics. Join the multi-site event, be part of the group of experts, share your research, check out new robot technology, and discuss the latest innovations in the field.


We invite submissions in the following domains:

  • Social cognition models and their implementation for human-robot interaction: neuro-robotics and artificial neural networks; theory of mind and simulation theory; narrative-practice hypothesis; enactive theory, interaction theory, and participatory sense-making; mirror neurons and embodied simulation; artificial consciousness and awareness; the frame problem, sensitivity to context, and social decision making.
  • Psychological aspects of human-robot interaction: anthropomorphism; mind perception, communication, emotion, reciprocity; technology acceptance; human factors & ergonomics.
  • Non-verbal communication and embodied/enactive models of the mind: applications of the embodied/enactive/interactive theory to developmental, evolutionary, and situated robotics; implementation of embodied communication through gaze, touch, gesture.
  • Robots in education, tourism, and the entertainment industry: narrative practices; teaching methodologies; learning through interaction; gamification; imagination, creativity, and procedural art; skill acquisition and exercise; machine learning.
  • Robots in healthcare and assistive technologies: robot therapy for mental and physical health, autism; tele-presence; sensors and diagnostic software; domotics, lifestyle.
  • Robot ethics and machine ethics: algorithmic solutions to moral dilemmas; autonomous agents and responsibility; formalization of codes of conduct; moral and legal obligations towards artificial companions; public policy, self-regulation of the developers, and good practices; trust and commitment; intimate robotics.
  • The social impact of robotics: future trends in the job market and technological unemployment; trust, expertise and automation; public policy and autonomous agents; AI in public administration and e-finance; robots, smart cities, and the Internet of things.


The program of the symposium and the titles of the presentations will be announced soon. To stay up to date, visit our website:


There is no participation fee for attending the event, but registration is mandatory. Bus transportation between Al Ain city and Abu Dhabi will be offered to the registered participants. Certificates of participation will be provided to the attendees. To register, please send an e-mail to the following address, indicating your name, institutional affiliation, contact information, and the days you will attend:


We invite research presentations that discuss any of the conference topics. Submit your application via email by December 30, 2018: The submission should include in a single Word or PDF file the presentation’s title and abstract (350-500 words), the authors affiliations, and their personal information (name, title, current position, educational history, and contact information). Notifications of acceptance will be provided by January 7, 2018.


The UAE is a premier destination for tourism and business and offers the most modern infrastructures and hotels. Daily flights connect the airports of Abu Dhabi and Dubai with all major cities in the world. The four-day event is going to be held at UAEU campus in the oasis city of Al Ain (approximately 75 minutes away by car from both Abu Dhabi and Dubai) and at NYUAD in Abu Dhabi (the UAE capital, situated on the coast at 75 minute drive from both Dubai and Al Ain). Bus transfer between Al Ain City and Abu Dhabi will be offered to all participants during the conference. The UAE is a peaceful, safe, cosmopolite, culturally vibrant, and very fast growing society. It aims to represent a model of tolerance, progress, and stability for the Middle East. November, with its weather comparable to a warm Spring in Europe, is the best time for a visit. Contact us to ask further questions: or


Fady AlNajjar (United Arab Emirates University)
Massimiliano Cappuccio (United Arab Emirates University)
Mohamad Eid (New York University Abu Dhabi)
Friederike Eyssel (Bielefeld University)


Abu Dhabi University, UAE University Science & Innovation Park, NYUAD Institute, Pal Robotics, UAE Society for Human Factors and Ergonomics, Votek


Adel Al-Jumaily (Sydney University of Technology)
Mohammed Alotaibi (University of Tabuk)
Ronald Arkin (Georgia Tech / Brisbane)
Ron Chrisley (University of Sussex)
Jorge Dias (Khalifa University)
Luisa Damiano (University of Messina)
Mark Esposito (Hult University London)
Tom Froese (National Autonomous University of Mexico)
Alessandro Lanteri (Abu Dhabi University / Hult University London)
Riccardo Manzotti (IULM / UAE University)
Omar Mubin (University Western Sydney)
Albert Newen (Ruhr University Bochum)
Amit Pandey (Aldebaran-Softbank Robotics)
Anco Peeters (Wollongong University)
Rolf Pfeifer (University of Zurich)
Rubina Qureshi (Abu Dhabi University)
Maha Salem (Google)
Shatha Samman (UAE Society for Human Factors and Ergonomics)
Giulio Sandini (IIT)
Luis Santos (Coinbra University)
Selma Sebanovic (Indiana University)
Shingo Shimoda (RIKEN BSI Tokyo)
Steve Torrance (University of Sussex)
Petra Turkama (Abu Dhabi University)
Antony Tzes (New York University Abu Dhabi)
Astrid Von Der Puetten (University of Duisburg-Essen)
Mari Velonaki (University of Sydney)
Astrid Weiss (University of Vienna)
Blay Whitby (University of Sussex)


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